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Sunday, March 3

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Bears Mon Sep 20 2010

Footballic Ramblings: Bears Do Dallas

Footballic_Ramblings2.jpg It pains me to say this but Jay Cutler is looking really great this far into the NFL season. Two games, 5 touchdowns, one pick and an insanely efficient completion percentage of 68.8. In no way, shape, nor form did I expect to see this from the heralded Cutler-Bot 5000 --whose, to be honest, mainframe and processor had been bludgeoned into the Stone Age last season. The offensive line is still a tear-inducing, hair-pulling experience for the Bears faithful, yet, somehow Cutler has managed to largely avoid the pressure and find his open receivers who --gasp-- have been catching the ball. A concept that even a scant month ago seemed highly unlikely. Now after two weeks, Cutler is looking the part of a Japanese chef behind center, paring, slicing and dicing opposing secondaries with Ginsu-inspired sharpness and accuracy.

Cutler's renaissance isn't even the most surprising turn-around on the team though. A look to the defensive side of the ball shows that Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs both are tackling like it's 2004 and that in turn is really helping the (still) always flammable secondary. The Bears thus far this season (and seemingly in perpetuity whilst under Lovie) are playing a pretty simplistic Tampa 2 system. Since approximately 2007 the Bears front four and their linebacking corps have struggled mightily to harry and pressure the opposition's quarterback, thus affording the wide receivers and QB far too much time to blaze through the foundering likes of Vasher, Bowman, et al. With Urlacher and Briggs (to a smaller extent) blasting out of the gates in this nascent 2010 season, the other offenses are finding it very hard to connect on the murdersome deep ball. Peep the handy drive charts and play-by-play and take note that Tony Romo had to throw a whopping 51 attempts (w 34 completions) to net those 374 passing yards and one measly touchdown and two picks and I get why Bears fans are feeling happy. More happy vibes? The Bears defense bottling up the Dallas run game to the tune of 36 yards on 20 carries.

Still let's talk about a few bad, uncomfortable issues that may make Bears fans a little less giddy. Whilst limiting the 'Boys running game; Chicago's own running game was just as anemic. 19 carries, 38 yards. BARF. Look, I get the Martz offense is going to be putting up prolific aerial numbers. That's exciting and excellent, still, the Bears may want to have some semblance of a running game by the time the winds and rains (and eventual ice and snow) show up in late October. The Bears have not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 8 of last year. That's a meaningless stat but still tells a tale. A tale of a woeful offensive line that, in spite of Jay Cutler's early success, is ripe for exposure.

If the terrible play of the o-line does not improve (and this is beginning to be much more of a personnel issue than scheming issue) Cutler will not last til the midway point of the season. If Cutler goes down, so do the Bears. Cross yourselves, Bears fans, if that doomsday scenario comes to fruition.

As always thanks for reading, leave comments and questions in the comments section and more football talk will happen later this week.

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